“Bronte’s Thunder” by Lucinda Stein
“Bronte’s Thunder” by Lucinda Stein is a finalist in the Young Adult division of the High Plains Book Awards. A love of reading led the author into a 20-year career as a school librarian. She later became an author of adult and young adult novels as well as short stories.
“Bronte’s Thunder” is the author’s second young adult book. Her fascination with lightning and thunderstorms led her to write this realistic novel with magical elements. It is a story about a girl who witnesses unusual incidents connected to thunderstorms and to herself.
Sixteen-year-old Bronte Malone has always had a strange connection to thunderstorms. When Bronte was born, her grandmother declared Bronte was born with the Spirit of Blue Lightning, which gave Bronte the gift of mysterious exchanges that change fate. Lightning appears in the midst of trouble and trades fate with those who mean Bronte harm.
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Bronte has lived with her aunt in a small South Dakota town since her mother disappeared nine years ago after killing little Johnny Ford. As Bronte begins her junior year in high school, it soon becomes her worst school year ever. Her best friends have moved away, former acquaintances bully and ostracize her, and tall, good-looking Nick Ford has moved back to town, reminding her of the tragedy that happened to his brother years ago. To make matters worse, her mother comes back to town with her creepy boyfriend after years of estrangement. Bronte’s junior year shifts from disaster to danger as someone seems to be trying to kill her.
“Bronte’s Thunder” is a book is about people who are trying their best to deal with life. It is a narrative of teenage struggles with self-esteem, peer acceptance, bullying, suicide, unwanted sexual advances, first love and many more issues that teenagers face. Through all Bronte’s struggles, lightning continues to appear when she doesn’t expect it, and fate changes as quickly as a flash of lightning.
Karin Green is a retired middle school librarian.